Artist helps to ‘rewrite the book’

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
Local artist Jacky Cheng is encouraging locals to 'rewrite the book' in a new series of art workshops.
Camera IconLocal artist Jacky Cheng is encouraging locals to 'rewrite the book' in a new series of art workshops. Credit: Broome Advertiser, Carly Laden

A love for storytelling will take on a whole new meaning as local creatives “rewrite the book” in a new series of artistic workshops.

The Kimberley Arts Network has facilitated the workshop series, hosted by local artist Jacky Cheng, to take attendees through the world of paper art and employing those skills to decorate books donated by Broome Public Library.

Participants’ efforts will be showcased in an exhibition at the library during Mental Health Week, from October 10-17.

Cheng said the project, funded by Regional Arts WA, was supposed to take place during the Kimberley Arts Network’s Fringe Festival but was postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

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“I was approached by the Kimberley Arts Network and they asked me if I would be interested in hosting these workshops, which were similar to a set I had done in Perth, so I thought ‘why not?’,” she said.

“I have this close relationship with paper and I thought it would be a great project to collaborate with the community and working within our local network of artists.”

“We ultimately want to bring people together and celebrate the uniqueness of what a book presents.”

Cheng said it was up to the creator how they wanted to “rewrite the book”.

“They can fold, tear, glue — basically rearranging what the book would look like as a 3-D model or creating a surprise element within the book,” she said.

“It’s actually the first time I’m actually showcasing my skills with paper art to the public so I hope the participants will be able to develop an appreciation for how much time and patience is required for making this kind of art.”

Kimberley Arts Network spokesperson Clancy McDowell said being able to resurrect the project, with help from Regional Arts WA, and work with community organisations had been “wonderful”.

“It’s really a community project that I think will have a beautiful outcome when everything comes together for Mental Health Week,” she said.

“There’s lots of metaphors involving books like ‘you read me like a book’ and ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and what we’re saying is make the book your own - reframe it, reform it, re-express it for something for you and you’re telling your own story in a creative way.”

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